U.S. presidents are often remembered for a historical record that assesses their legacy based on the long-term impact of their administrative, political and moral decisions.
It seems then that Donald Trump will be remembered as the president who divided the country and turned us all against each other.
According to a new FBI report released Monday, hate crimes in the United States have reached their highest level in more than a decade, after federal officials recorded the highest number of hate murders since the Bureau began collecting such data in the early 1990s.
The FBI’s annual report defines hate crimes as those motivated by prejudice based on a person’s race, religion, or sexual orientation.
As the Associated Press explains in its report, in 2019, there were 51 hate crime murders, including 22 people killed in a shooting that targeted Mexicans at a Walmart in the border city of El Paso, Texas.
Similarly, there were 7,314 hate crimes last year, up from 7,120 the year before and approaching 7,783 in 2008.
While the increase in the numbers can be explained by better reporting and data management by police departments, law enforcement officials “don’t doubt that hate crimes are on the rise,” the AP continues.
The data also shows an almost 7% increase in religion-based hate crimes, with 953 reports of crimes directed against Jews and Jewish institutions last year, compared to 835 the previous year. The FBI said the number of hate crimes against African Americans dropped slightly to 1,930 from 1,943.
Hate crimes against Hispanics, however, increased to 527 in 2019 from 485 in 2018. And the total number of hate crimes based on a person’s sexual orientation remained relatively stable, with one less crime reported last year than the year before, although there were 20 more hate crimes against gay men reported.
As NBC recalls, after the attack in El Paso, residents said the nation had to address the racism behind the largest murder of Latinos in modern history.
“It’s clear it was not just a random attack,” said Marisa Limón Garza, deputy director of the Hope Border Institute, shortly after the killings in August 2019. “It’s clear that this cannot be called someone with a mental illness. This illness is racism and xenophobia.
Now, with the departure of former President Trump from the White House, the urgency of healing and repairing the wounds inflicted on the American people is more than evident.